India Blocks Nine Offshore Cryptocurrency Companies

With its recent regulatory crackdown on significant international cryptocurrency exchanges, India, a rising force in the global crypto landscape has made headlines. Nine well-known exchanges, including Binance, KuCoin, Huobi, Kraken,, Bittrex, Bitstamp, MEXC Global, and Bitfinex, have received compliance notices and recommendations to block their URLs from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND), the nation’s anti-money laundering oversight organization. This blog explores the details of this regulatory action, its ramifications, and the larger background of India’s changing position regarding cryptocurrencies.

The Regulatory Action

In compliance with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002, the nine offshore Virtual Digital Assets Service Providers (VDA-SPs) received compliance show cause notices from FIU-IND on December 28, 2023. The notice draws attention to allegedly unlawful activities and violations of India’s AML and CFT frameworks. To limit access to these organizations’ websites within the nation, the FIU-IND directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block their URLs.

India’s cryptocurrency regulatory environment has been changing quickly. The government is developing an extensive structure for cryptocurrency regulations in response to the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies. A unified tax policy, real-time proof-of-reserve audits, and sophisticated Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations are anticipated to be included in the framework, which is scheduled for release in 2024. The intention is to align cryptocurrency exchanges with the Reserve Bank of India’s regulations and grant them the same status as authorized dealers, similar to banks.

Adoption of Cryptocurrencies in India

India saw a sharp increase in the use of cryptocurrencies, rising to the top of Chainalysis’ global index for 2023. After the US, the nation emerged as the world’s second-largest market in terms of raw estimated transaction volume. The growing interest in cryptocurrencies has forced authorities to confront possible threats and create a framework that complies with global norms.

The action taken by Indian regulators to obstruct the URLs of significant international exchanges portends a more rigid strategy. This crackdown is having an impact on Binance, KuCoin, Huobi, and other companies, demonstrating the extraterritorial reach of Indian regulatory measures. The FIU-IND highlights that virtual asset service providers, both onshore and offshore, that engage in activities like asset transfers, safekeeping or administration of virtual digital assets, and the exchange of virtual digital assets for fiat currencies must adhere to Indian regulations.

Future Implications and Difficulties

The cryptocurrency community in India and around the world is keeping a careful eye on the developments and planning for any obstacles or implications. The goal of the regulatory measures is to reduce risks and establish a safe virtual asset market in India. The future course of the crypto industry will be greatly influenced by its adaptability and capacity to adjust to changing regulatory frameworks.

The move by India to block the URLs of major global cryptocurrency exchanges reflects a proactive approach to regulating the growing crypto market. The industry is waiting for more clarity on the rules and their enforcement as the country works on a comprehensive regulatory framework. The outcome will have an impact not only on global exchange operations but also on the larger narrative surrounding cryptocurrency adoption and regulation in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

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